Friday, March 13, 2009
The ugly ducklings became beautiful swans
These swans are very popular with the visitors to Western Springs. They are the prima donnas and are favourites. There are ducks, geese, chickens, pokekos / pukeko and other sea birds. In the water, there are eels.The eels are an original part of the cultural and ecological heritage of Western Springs Lake - a fact that is reflected in the lake's Maori name 'Te Wai Orea', which means 'waters of the eel'. People have been fishing, and there are signs," No fishing" in English and Chinese. I tease my Chinese family that we know who had been fishing illegally.
Western Springs is the venue for Pasifika tomorrow where more than 100,000 visitors are expected to soak in the festivities. I just hope that our feathered friends will not find this too overwhelming.
Western Springs, known as Waiorea by Maori, began flowing when lava from Three Kings volcano filled the original streambed 70,000 years ago. From the late 1870s, Western Springs was the main source of fresh water for Auckland. We don't drink this water any more. The water engineer says the pollution from the neighbouring industries had ruined it for us.